As we all know, Jeff is up for election to the Hall of Fame this year, for the first time. For reasons unclear to me, he is on the Steroid Suspect List – not Sammy Sosa high (and there is absolutely zero evidence to put Sammy on there except that he hit home runs) – but there just the same.
The previous post I wrote about this subject (Bryant Gumbel demanding that Bagwell just admit he used roids) is THE most clicked on entry since I started writing this blog over 6 years ago. Yes, including every entry written during the playoffs and World Series. I got LOTS of comments, most of which I had to delete for libel and/or bad language – most of which said something like, cmon you idiot female, why deny it, your HEEEEro used and you KNOW it and you won’t admit it because you are an Astros fan.
I don’t have ANY trouble admitting that someone used if I have even the slightest shred of PROOF. For example, I freely admit that Miguel Tejada lied about using. Miguel Tejada used steroids. There. I said it.
Lemme guess – that is not good enough because he is “an Astros Icon” – like that is something that makes me completely unable to say he used steroids if he did.
What is the evidence that Bagwell used?
1 – he got bigger
You’re kidding me, right? That is too stupid. In the mid 90s after the strike, EVERYONE started lifing weights like crazy because, let’s be honest here, everyone thought that bigger = better, roids or no roids. Bagwell was known to be an avid weightlifter – that does NOT make him a roider. I turst that no one is going to insist that no adult male who lfts weights for several hours a day for months is capable of adding muscle weight without using roids. Even FEMALES can add muscle weight by lifting without using roids. And Bagwell did not exactly change from scrawny to Ahnold overnight (see Lenny Dykstra)
2 – he had big forearms
Please. He wasn’t exactly Ted Kluzewski. Or even Steve Garvey.
3 – He was on the same team as Luis Gonzalez and Ken Caminiti.
Good grief. Caminiti started using in 96, 2 YEARS after he left the team. Luis Gonzalez left in 95. Are people insisting that Luis was using in 95? He didn’t hang with Baggy and they weren’t workout pals. So even IF Gonzalez started using after he went to the Cubs, that has like WHAT to do with Bagwell?
4 – He was a first baseman and he hit home runs and Mark McGwire was a first baseman who hit home runs and HE used so if McGwire hit home runs and used, then Bagwell must have.
Then exactly WHY is Frank Thomas not being tarred with that brush? He was a first baseman, hit home runs, and gained weight after he hit the majors at age 22. Oh, because he was outspoken against using? I see. That must be significant because no one who has ever loudly spoken out against something has been found to be guilty of doing exactly what he/she was speaking out against, right? (See whatshisname the minister who loudly opposed gay rights/gay marriage and was discovered to have hired male prostitutes.) Anyway, Baggy isn’t the speaking up kind of guy. Check what he said to the media – all stuff like – we gotta play em one day at a time. Well, I was just up there lookin for a pitch to hit.
5 – he stated that he took the LEGAL, over the counter in any store supplements creatine and androstenedione. Mark McGwire took andro AND he took roids so therefore Bagwell MUST have done roids if he took andro.
Yes, because shooting up with dangerous illegal drugs is the same as taking stuff you buy in a GNC. Neither of which were against any rules. Or considered “cheating” by anyone. And there is exactly ZERO proof that the use of oral androstenedoine by young healthy adult male athletes does absolutely ANYTHING to grow muscles, increase endurance, sharpen focus, or improve athletic performance in ANY way.
6 – He hit home runs in the Astrodome but he didn’t hit any at AA, therefore he must have been shooting up.
In 1991? Back when he was “skinny”? You’re kidding me, right?
7 – Cmon you dumb female. He played during the steroid era. He was good AND he hit home runs. AND he had to retire early because of arthritis. Therefore, he MUST have done roids.
Retiring early because of arthritis means you did drugs? You mean like Sandy Koufax? Oh, no, NOT like Sandy Koufax because Sandy didn’t hit home runs. Ah, I see. Anyone who is not been designated as “clean” for absolutely NO reason, who hit home runs, who lifted weights LIKE EVERY OTHER PLAYER, must be guilty of shooting up.
Sorry, this is all too stupid. There is no more reason to believe that Bagwell did roids than anyone else and tarring everyone with the same brush, regardless or evidence, is mere petulance, frippery (nice big words, eh?) and sour grapes. Bagwell is not associated with any known steroid distributor, he didn’t pay for steroids with a check like our old friend Miggy Tejada, he didn’t work out with known roiders, he never had a positive test (including the infamous supposed secret 2003 list – then again, Barry Bonds wasn’t on that list either and we all KNOW he shot up.)
Fact is that Bagwell, “short” career and all is most certainly a Hall of Famer. To say that he can’t be because he was never the “best” at his position is like complaining that Duke Snider has no business in the Hall because Willie Mays was better.